Two men who attacked an English couple with a machete while they were on holiday in Ireland were yesterday jailed for a total of 16 and a half years.
Jailing 21-year-old Elias Boswell for seven and a half years, and Patrick Mongan (22) for nine years, Newry Crown Court Judge Randal McKay QC described the attack in June last year as “vicious and brutal” and he had to “express the outrage of the community at your behaviour”.
Boswell, of no fixed address and Mongan, from White Rise in Dunmurry, each pleaded guilty to wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr James Fordyce (61) and his 56-year-old wife Kath, and also to hijacking and setting fire to their Fiat campervan.
Boswell pleaded guilty to further charges of dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen and no insurance while Mongan also pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting constables.
The court heard that the couple, from Skegness in Lincoln-shire, had travelled to Northern Ireland from Scotland on a week’s holiday on June 10 last year and had parked in a layby, just over the border in Co Louth, on the main Belfast to Dublin road.
Prosecuting QC Liam McCollum said the couple were woken from their sleep in the early hours by “banging and shouting” to the effect that “it was the border police – open up immediately”.
However, when Mr Fordyce opened the door, he was attacked with a machete and a window was smashed before he and his wife were “slung out” from the campervan.
Mrs Fordyce, said the lawyer, was pushed against a car before being knocked to the ground where she was kicked about the head and ribs and both she and her husband were knocked unconscious. When they came round, they found their campervan had been stolen.
Mr McCollum said when they were taken to hospital, medical evidence showed Mr Fordyce had suffered numerous cuts and bruises, but the most serious was a laceration to his wrist which required plastic surgery.
Mrs Fordyce also suffered cuts and bruises but her most serious injury was a depressed skull fracture and multiple broken ribs.
Their campervan was found burnt out on the Drumintee Road in Meigh, south Armagh and the court heard that Boswell and Mongan were arrested at a checkpoint driving a Volkswagen Passat.
Mr McCollum told the court that the blood-stained machete, along with the campervan keys, were discovered in the car and forensic examinations matched the blood on it to Mr Fordyce.
During the course of the arrest Mongan, said the lawyer, attacked four policemen.
Defence lawyers for the pair said both were remorseful and regretted their actions and each of their respective families had managed to scrap together £10,000 to give to the Fordyce’s by way of apology and compensation.
Handing down the jail terms, after the pair agreed to spend a further two years on probation, Judge McKay said they had pleaded guilty to “dreadful offences”.